Ugly junk 2012, Ghetto Lagering Chamber - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Ugly junk 2012, Ghetto Lagering Chamber

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-08-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3189 Times on 1884 Posts



Living in a small condo these days I really don’t have the space for a dedicated lagering fridge. When I lived in my loft, the garage had cabinets that got cold enough to lager in al-fresco, during the winter months. My GF has an unheated sunporch at the back of her house that I can use to cold weather lager in. Of course there needs to be a way to maintain a somewhat steady temp through all the changes we have during our odd Michigan winter. The biggest thing of course is preventing the beer from actually freezing solid. It also needs to keep the light from ruining the beer.

So for this winter I have put together my ghetto-licious lager box.



It is a simple insulated box to which I have a computer fan to draw some cold air in as needed,



a heat belt around the vessel,



a temp controller based on the ever popular (and cheap) Ebay aquarium temp control module,



and a thermowell made from a stainless rigid supply line and a carboy cap (about $8.00 total) to put the temp control probe into.



I won’t go into detail on the build of the temp controller, it’s based on the one that Tomsd did for the love controller

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/anot...-build-195713/

It has an “always on” bank of outlets on the top so you can plug any accessories into it, or to make up for tying up an outlet, and rather than just one outlet for hot and cold, it has the ability to plug two fans or a heat belt for to fermenters.



Here’s my wiring diagram for it.



Since the temp controller is in Celcius, I found a conversion chart online and stuck it on the side, as a reference.

__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Cyclebrew Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3189 Times on 1884 Posts


Now the thermowell, is extremely complex to build, and has a lot of expensive parts to it.



It uses a $3.95 HD stainless plumbing supply line, a $5.00 orange carboy cap, and some glue.

Just measure the length you want it to be (I chose 10”.)



Then I crimped it closed, the proceeded to hit it with a hammer to flatten, folded the end over, hit it again with a hammer, folded it over again, hit it flat and then folded it a third time, and flattened that again.



It’s not pretty, but it wouldn’t be ghetto if it was.

Next cut off the center pole of the carboy cap.



I then bent the cap over and made a slit to accommodate the crimped end.



Then I just pushed the tube through the hole in the cap and sealed it with glue.



I used gorilla glue, I don’t advise it, the stuff ran all over the place and made a mess. I would use a less viscous glue. It formed a nice bond, but looks like crap.
Viola, an $8.00 dollar thermowell, to replace the $30.00 one my lhbs had.



The chamber itself Is a large rubbermade bin.

__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3189 Times on 1884 Posts


This is the brand I used. It was $15.00 bucks at Meijers. I got the largest one they had so it would easily fit 2 carboys in there.



For insulation I bought a 6 pack of Styrofoam “poly panel” insulation.





You can use anything really. I would have used “pink stuff” foam board, but I couldn't fit a panel in my hatchback, so I went with the Styrofoam instead.

The first thing I did was work out the base, which used the lid.


I measured out the inside surface of the lid, leaving plenty of room for the box to still fit on it, cut a piece of the foam, and glued it down, then weighted it until it dried.

I cut a second sheet of foam, and traced out roughly the diameter or my carboys.



I cut out both circles and glued that sheet on top of the other one.



Next I placed a carboy on each side of the base, then putting the lid back on I felt for the indentation that the mouth of the carboy made on the top, and drew a rough circle. Then I put a lit that was the size I wanted over that, traced a circle and cut out two circles to make room for the carbou caps/airlocks.



__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3189 Times on 1884 Posts


I also looked for a place to cut a spot for the fan. The label seemed to be in the perfect location



I cut that out as well, then placing the fan over the hole, I also marked the bolt holes to mount the fan.



The next step is to measure the dimensions for the top and sides of the lid, cut the pieces and glue them in place. I used duct tape to hold them in place while they dried.



Then cut out the foam over the airlock holes and the fan slot, and mount the fan on the end.



Now that everything is assembled all that’s left is to set it up.
I put a heat belt on the carboy.



Put the lid on and plug the fan and the heat belt in.



Slide the temp probe down into the thermowell



To keep excess light from getting in, I taped a piece of cardboard over the empty carboy hole.



And taped around the hole with the carboy in it.

__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,921
Liked 3189 Times on 1884 Posts


Since the ceiling tends to leak a bit, I just wrapped a bag around the controller.





This can be used anywhere cold, a garage, your deck/terrace if you live in an apartment, your back yard even, as long as you live in a cold climate. So don’t let the lack of a refrigerator/freezer deter you from brewing lagers. In many places, brewing was seasonal, with lagering being done in the winter, and ales being done when the cold was gone.

Hope this helps!
__________________
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
Rivenin
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
McMinnville, Oregon
Posts: 3,251
Liked 327 Times on 254 Posts


wow man! i dig it, i've been debating the same thing for even my ales..
my "storage/movie/man cave/my room" actually gets too chilly (toward lagering temps) so i've just been leaving the door open to the rest of the house which helps, but i'm diggin this!
(heart) your ugly junk.
__________________
RAINYDAY BREWING AND WINERY McMinnville, OR - EST 2010
Coming up Mosaic Honey Wheat -
Primary Kool-aid malt liquor - Berlinerweisse
Kegged Berlinerweisse - Centennial blonde with Huell Mellon hops - same blonde but dry hopped with ella
240v - 4500w electric two tier

Revvy Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
QuaffableQuips
Editor-in-Chief, Zymurgy magazine
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
QuaffableQuips's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2009
Fort Collins, Colorado
Posts: 396
Liked 28 Times on 23 Posts


This is fantastic. Thanks for posting. I always like reading about all the whiz-bang stuff people on here come up with, but I'm often intimidated because I'm not even vaguely handy.

I think I could actually build this ugly junk. Thanks, Revvy!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
NordeastBrewer77
NBA Playa
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
NordeastBrewer77's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 7,881
Liked 1084 Times on 788 Posts


very nice, Revvy! you know i've been waiting to see how this turns out! very nice, and very easy on the wallet. it's very similar to how i'm doing my garage lagering tub, except i'm using a water bath and aquarium heater to heat mine, and good ol' mother nature to cool. temp controller's running the heater thanks again for the thermowell idea, sure as $h!t works better that my idea of rubber banding the probe to the carboy. :rocking:
i'll get some pics up as soon as i start lagering this Alt, she's in a swamp cooler in my cool room (front room's an old converted 3 season porch!) fermenting away at 55 degrees with little help, maybe a bottle of water here and there.
__________________
The Polk Street Brewery

Brewin' 'n' Que'n - YouTube Shenanigans

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.

Revvy Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 09:31 PM   #9
Shooter
Almaigan Brewing Co.
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Shooter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Dublin (No, not that Dublin)
Posts: 4,562
Liked 271 Times on 209 Posts


It might be ghetto, but it looks like it would be effective.
__________________
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C. S. Lewis, English essayist & juvenile novelist (1898 - 1963)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #10
lagalaxy
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Seattle, Washington
Posts: 12

This is an inspiration my friend.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thoughts/comments on our lagering chamber LeonardZelig Equipment/Sanitation 8 12-04-2011 08:59 PM
New chest freezer lagering chamber trigger Equipment/Sanitation 3 02-17-2011 05:34 PM
New lagering chamber and a question ikonis Equipment/Sanitation 2 06-26-2009 01:41 PM
Ghetto rigged lagering. Will this work fezzman Equipment/Sanitation 14 10-10-2006 04:48 PM


Forum Jump